Yelapa English Spanish Institute (YESI) is located in the quaint coastal fishing community of Yelapa, Mexico. Although only 45 minutes water taxi ride from Puerto Vallarta, its beautiful beach, rustic palm-thatched and unique houses, no cars or roads, and electricity only since late 2001, take you back to the simple life. The sheltered bay, ideal climate of hot winter days and cool nights, paths of concrete and cobble, horse trails along the Tuito River into the jungle, deep pools, sand beaches and numerous waterfalls are the perfect antidote to stress.
Since people still walk everywhere, and quickly get to know you, it's a perfect environment for communication. Learning Spanish is much easier nd the opportunities are everywhere to practice.
YESI has operated since 2000 offering Spanish and English Language, Accommodation and Guided Activities. YESI offers a Winter/ Spring Program beginning in November in Yelapa and a Summer program since 2005. We can also offer summer classes in the fresh mountain air of San Sebastian del Oeste, a candidate area for UNESCO World Heritage Site, one hour east of Puerto Vallarta. Keep cool in Mexico's summer.
1. Weekly Spanish Language Intensive Course - 15 hrs/wk. Begin on the Sunday with an introduction to your host family or settle into your accommodation. Then during a tour of the town, we'll introduce you to several of the local townsfolk who will quickly become part of your Yelapa family of friends with whom you can practice. The Classes begin Monday and run 3 hours daily to Friday. Each group is usually 4 or less people and at a similar language level. We use exercises, games, songs and after class activities for fast learning and enjoyment. Add the Guided Activities with local guides for full immersion.
2. Weekend Beginner Intensive - 12 hrs. The weekend class covers much of the essentials of the week-long class, but condensed. Friday evening covers the pronunciation basics in 2 hours. Saturday and Sunday include two sessions daily for 2.5 hours each. Minimum of two. A higher level weekend intensive can be developed to your level.
3. Spanish Children's Classes - 1.5 hours daily, Monday to Friday - Small groups use games, stories, songs, exercises. There are many children in Yelapa, and this will help your child connect and practice with the Mexicans in your neighborhood. If you'd like to study as a Family Group we can arrange this as a two hour class, including one hour follow-up activity. Inquire.
4. Spanish for Medical Professionals - 3 hour classes, Monday to Friday, focusing on grammar short-cuts, vocabulary and expressions, and conversational practice. Talks by local health professionals will be given throughout the week (traditional medicine healer, nurse-practitioner, medical doctors, veterinary doctor). Daily opportunities will be arranged to observe and assist in treatment.
5. Special Summer Classes for Teachers - 1 and 2 week Intensives will be run weekly each summer to learn Spanish for Teachers and Educations Professionals. Stay with a host family.
6. Summer Weekly Intensives - Beginning in June, classes can be scheduled for individuals, families and children. Inquire for dates. We also offer these in San Sebastian 70 kms in the mountains from Puerto Vallarta.
7. Spanish on the Road - An exciting new program for those wanting to travel with your Spanish teacher and knowledgeable guide. Study, travel and learn Spanish on the road! One Week or Weekend Tours: 1) Patzcuaro Lake and ancient Purepechan Culture a. Culture & Crafts Tour - Purepechan natives who still speak their language; each village has distinct arts and crafts. b. Day of the Dead Tour - ceremonies and night-time vigil and tour villages in splendour of fall flowers. c. Culture & Monarch Butterfly Wintering Areas - in the mountains above 3000 m east of Patzcuaro combined with the cultural tour. 2) Mountain tour above Puerto Vallarta - beautiful colonial town of San Sebastian (see the coast from Mtn. peak Bufa!),/agricultural valley of Mascota/ religious destination of Virgin of Talpa. 3) Coastal Beach & Nature Tour - Sayulita (surf scene) and San Blas (boat tours through mangrove swamps, best regional bird viewing, crocodiles and jaguars), Optional: Huichol (Native) village in Tepic. 4) South of Puerto Vallarta area - Tuito, Vallarta Botanical Gardens, Organic Gardens/Inn. 5) Hot Springs near Las Palmas.
Accommodation: : YESI can arrange private accommodation in a house or private suite, or one of the hotels (Lagunita, Blue Moon or Casa Milagros). For a full immersion experience, and the greatest cost-savings in accommodation, we have several home stay families now available to host you in private rooms, all with private baths, or a separate casita. Prices include breakfast and suppers daily.
Course Dates: Intensive weekly Spanish classes run weekly from November to the end of April. We also offer a summer program July to mid August. The Medical Spanish program runs throughout the season. Courses outside these dates are also available by arrangement. Please inquire. Orientation and introductions are provided on Sundays. Week-long classes start Monday.
Guided Activities: We organize tours for students that are open to the general public. A Mexican guide is dedicated to your language learning. The various options include the following, or can be customized for your special interests. Visit the website for particulars.
� day Horseback ride along the Tuito River, through the jungle ends in a refreshing swim in deep pools below the waterfalls (Las Cascadas) above the canyon.
A full day Horseback Ride or Hike to the upper waterfalls on the Calderas River is even more exhilarating with a 70 foot falls with three deep, large, pools.
Whale Watching, Wildlife Viewing, Beach Day and Snorkeling at the Marietas Islands - A full day in these spectacular waters around the islands, a protected wildlife refuge for nesting seabirds, and a sanctuary for humpback whales rearing young,. sea turtles and huge manta rays.
Whale watching - Yelapa Bay is one of three areas of concentration of humpback and gray whales in season in the region. A boat ride offers views at a safe distance.
Hike Upriver Crayfish Hunt - half day hike and swim in shallow pools guided by locals who supplement their diet with these "river shrimp". It's a fun and exhilarating activity, and you get to eat your catch.
Boat trips to nearby secluded beaches - Pizota or further south along the coast and upriver to Tecomate, a deep jungle pool complete with hanging vines, or Corales beach lobster feast on southern tip of Banderas Bay.
Hike or horseback ride to Quimixto, the next coastal community - Full day walk 3 - 4 hrs through the jungle, and after a snack and beach-time catch the water-taxi home.
Attend the local rodeos in the tiny hillside communities of Chacala, Ixtlan del Rio or Algodon with a crowd of the locals to view local rodeo "color".
Kayak throughout Yelapa Bay or 2-3 hrs to Pizota and other southern points for the more adventurous.
Shop in Puerto Vallarta or El Tuito for regional arts and crafts.
Regional small towns to enjoy the various local festivals (Puerto Vallarta and El Tuito for the huge Guadalupe festival, Las Palmas for the hot springs).
A 4-8 hr Drive/Walk Chacala - trip over the mountain ridge by car to small community of Chacala, origin of Yelapa families, and home to the infamous "Raicilla factories" - cactus moonshine - and walk back down the jungle road to Yelapa.
Fishing Trips - hourly rates to harvest the abundance from the ocean with these local cowboys of the waves!
In your Free Time you can enjoy various other social activities free to everyone: local weddings, quincinieras, children's birthday parties, school dance performances, church and community fundraisers, special holidays (Revolution Day, Marine Day, church holidays,etc.).